WKU ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS / MEDIA RELATIONSFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE / April 11, 2019BASEBALL / Contact: Bryan Fyalkowski
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TOPPERS TRAVEL TO WEST VIRGINIA FOR C-USA SERIES AT MARSHALL
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — After getting back into the win column on Tuesday night, WKU Baseball heads north into the heart of Appalachia for a Conference USA challenge against rival Marshall. The Friday-to-Sunday series between the Hilltoppers and Thundering Herd from April 12-14 will have first pitch times of 2 p.m., 1 p.m. and 12 p.m. CT, respectively.

SERIES HISTORY

  • WKU and Marshall will meet for the 25th, 26th and 27th times on the diamond, with the Thundering Herd leading the all-time series 13-11.
  • Marshall has a 5-2 advantage in its home games, while the Hilltoppers have a 9-8 advantage in Bowling Green.
  • The Thundering Herd has a 9-3 advantage in the four series played since WKU joined C-USA prior to the 2015 season.
  • Marshall swept both series in 2016 (in Bowling Green) and 2017 (in Huntington) before the Hilltoppers took 2-of-3 from the Thundering Herd in 2018 at Nick Denes Field.
  • WKU and Marshall met 12 times from 1992-to-1999, with the Hilltoppers claiming an 8-4 record against the Thundering Herd.

WKU PREVIEW

  • WKU past week recaps: FRIDAY at Middle Tennessee (L, 4-13) | SATURDAY at Middle Tennessee (L, 10-13) | SUNDAY at Middle Tennessee (L, 4-11) | TUESDAY vs. Belmont (W, 8-7)
  • On Tuesday, the Hilltoppers secured their fifth walk-off win and eighth come-from-behind win of the season. WKU improved to 15-15-1 on the year and 25-24 all-time against the Bruins.
  • Pinch hitter Sam McElreath reached on a fielder’s choice with the bases loaded for the Hilltoppers’ third walk-off of the season that did not come on a base hit. Previously, shortstop Kevin Lambert reached on a bases-loaded error against Northern Kentucky on Feb. 16, and freshman center fielder Jackson Swiney scored from third base on a balk to beat Eastern Illinois on Feb. 24.
  • Right fielder Jake Sanford was 1-of-40 amateur players named to the 2019 Golden Spikes Award Midseason Watch List, USA Baseball announced on Wednesday afternoon. He becomes the third WKU player in program history to earn this specific distinction, following third baseman Danny Hudzina in 2016 and catcher Matt Rice in 2011.
  • Along with Arizona State’s Hunter Bishop, Vanderbilt’s J.J. Bleday and Mississippi State’s Jake Mangum, Sanford is only 1-of-4 outfielders to make the Watch List. He also joins FIU lefty Logan Allen and Rice righty Matt Canterino as 1-of-3 C-USA players among the honorees.
  • Sanford earned Perfect Game First Team Midseason All-American honors on April 3. He became the first Hilltopper All-American since 2016, when Hudzina was named a Third Team ABCA member at the conclusion of the season. The Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, native is the first Canadian Perfect Game Midseason All-American since Pittsburgh shortstop Charles Leblanc (Laval, Quebec) was a Second-Teamer in 2016.
  • The Hilltoppers are 7-3 in one-run games, 5-1 in walk-off wins, 13-7-1 on turf (at least infield), 5-0 when their starting pitcher goes five-plus innings, 10-2-1 when the opponent’s starter goes fewer than five innings, 5-0 when only WKU scores in the first inning, 9-7-1 when hitting at least one homerun and 7-4 when holding the opponent to zero homeruns.

MARSHALL PREVIEW

  • Marshall past week recaps: FRIDAY at Southern Miss (L, 3-10) | SATURDAY DH at Southern Miss (L, 3-4 & L, 10-11) | TUESDAY at Virginia Tech (L, 0-7)
  • The Thundering Herd enters the weekend with an 18-14 overall record and a 6-6 mark in C-USA play. Marshall entered this past weekend with an 18-10 mark, but has since lost four in a row after being swept by the Golden Eagles in a three-game set and shut out by the Hokies in a midweek contest.
  • Leadoff hitter and center fielder Erik Rodriguez leads the team with 26 runs scored, five triples and 18 stolen bases in 20 attempts. First baseman Zach Inskeep and left fielder Tucker Linder are tied for most on the club with five homeruns, and have combined for 52 runs batted in and 31 extra-base hits. Meanwhile, the middle infield of Elvis Peralta and Geordon Blanton have combined for 49 runs scored and 31 extra-base hits.
  • Behind the plate looms catcher Rey Pastrana, who has thrown out 14-of-26 potential base stealers with zero passed balls on the season.
  • On the mound, Friday starter Joshua Shapiro boasts some of the best numbers among C-USA arms. In eight starts, the lefty has a 1.83 earned run average and a 4-1 record. He has struck out 41 in 44 innings while allowing 32 hits and issuing 22 walks.

How to Follow the Hilltoppers: For complete information on WKU Hilltopper Baseball, follow the program via social media @WKUBaseball on Snapchat, TwitterInstagram & Facebook.
-@WKUSports-_____________________________
Bryan Fyalkowski
Assistant Director of Media Relations
WKU Hilltopper Athletics

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